A Friday exhale…breathing lighter with Zena the Wonder Dog!

Here we are at the threshold of another weekend. Since I don’t go to work on Fridays I tend to let a lot of little errands, household duties and chores pile up all week. Friday is my “clean up” day. I had my morning all planned out, including putting up an entirely different post.

Zena had other ideas for my morning.

She wanted to play.

We have held to the name Zena. She is definitely not a Xena–Warrior Princess. She is far from powerful. Or even demanding. She is mostly very gentle and bit timid. Would a warrior choose a little plastic pot and a baby toy as favorite playthings?

Would a warrior nuzzle a tortoise? They are actually good buddies. Neither feels the least bit intimidated. Pinky, on the other hand, is now situated in the front yard. I think we were tempting fate by keeping a rabbit at dog’s eye level.

She is so gentle we haven’t had to do a bit of repair to our backyard railroad. She tiptoes around plants, exhibiting caution we can’t seem to expect from Darwin. She gently helps herself to a drink from the bank, which is convenient. In our typically very hot and dry weather, we don’t have to worry about dehydration. I do have to watch out for muddy paws coming indoors.

She’s a wonderful little companion. First thing today I gave her some breakfast. She nibbled, but with little interest. She seemed delighted I was going to be her home companion today, and as soon as I sat down to enjoy my first cup of coffee, she was in my face, beckoning me to come outdoors.

How is it animals can communicate their needs so clearly? How could I ignore her big brown eyes? She has a way of getting me to do whatever she wants, and NOW! The following ensued:

It’s a little hard to throw a ball and take a video from the phone, but I wanted to share some her morning exuberance!

Zena the Wonder Dog!

She’s such a good companion and a welcome addition to our family. In my own effort to slow down just a little bit, maybe she’s a good focus. It’s been a long time since I played ball with anyone!

And maybe we’ll get some rest this weekend, too. Even the dog knows how to restore balance.

The weekend is a good time for a giant exhale! So go for it!

72 thoughts on “A Friday exhale…breathing lighter with Zena the Wonder Dog!

  1. First of all, it’s good to be an early bird here for a change.

    Obviously, she is a joy! Cheers to her energy and companionship. …. and it’s good to get a voice behind the words. :)

  2. Zena is adorable! Enjoy your weekend exhale!
    As for me, I don’t expect to take my very big exhale until sometime after (hopefully not too long after) 1:30 PM Sunday afternoon. You may hear me exhaling all the way from Canada.

  3. Ohhhhhhhh, I just love her, and I’m sure my girls: Willa (Irish Wolfhound) and Lexi (Standard Poodle) would too. I am grateful every single day for our companion animals and the unconditional love they lavish us with.

    • Thank you, Laurie! It has been years since we’ve had a dog in our home, and in fact, Zena is the largest dog who has ever owned us! LOL! I think she would love to play with Willa and Lexi. I feel sorry that she’s home alone a good portion of each day, and maybe some day we’ll find a way to incorporate another companion, but right now, as a rescue dog, she is SO needy! One of us is going to trip over her I’m certain. We can’t move about without her under foot. But we do love her. That unconditional love is rather addicting, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing, Laurie. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, too!

  4. Give a dog a ball and you have hours of fun. Ever try a large child’s football? Buffy, a Patterdale terrier has a colourful one and loves to play with it, even on her own.

    • I think you’re right! i need to get Zena some additional balls. She more or less found the tennis balls at the house and adopted them. I’ll look for a child’s football. It is football season here. :-) Thanks for the suggestion!

    • I think the communication we’re receiving from Zena makes me laugh. She knows to get in our face and smack her lips if she’s hungry, and if she wants to get our attention she just gives us the stare down! It’s pretty funny. And we’ve had a nice quiet weekend. I hope you’ve enjoyed yours, also! :-)

    • Ha! I’m always cheerful on Friday! I get to sleep in. :-) Every other day of the week I’m sitting at my desk by 7:00 a.m. and lately that means leaving for work in the dark. I really struggle! :-) This is the first time Zena has lived with a whole yard to herself. I love watching her play! She is such a little love. Focus will come, I suppose. She does need help with a leash, too!

  5. I read your post while I was admiring our newest kitty who was finally sleeping peacefully after trying to trip me as I went about my chores! Even in sleep they are adorable! There is nothing like a some new energy in a home.

  6. What a beautiful dog Zena is! There’s something so special about play and cuddling with a pup. We unfortunately have a very chaotic weekend in store, but in a few weeks we have a long restoration weekend scheduled. That’s what I’ve got my eye on! Enjoy your weekend. :)

    • I hope you got through your chaotic weekend without too much wear and tear. I do the same as you describe, though…if I can have something to look forward to I find I can often plow ahead! Now another week begins. Sometimes we just need to hold on! Whew!

  7. She is precious, Debra. I’m glad she’s settling in with the family (and the family of animals) so well. I wondered how she’d do with a turtle and a rabbit.

    As for my weekend, there will be no exhale. I have a Rotary guest from South Africa coming on Sunday for a week.

    • Oh Andra! A whole week? My goodness. We were very busy this weekend, but just family birthdays and gatherings that were on the whole relaxing. And i did have time to read the new book and I really enjoyed it! I loved your story…I remember the characters (in part) and loved the direction you took. I hope we can talk a bit about it in November. :-)

  8. Hey Debra. I’m sure you’ve seen those bumper stickers with paw prints that say, “Who adopted who?” Your post makes me think, “Who trained who?” Perhaps pets are our best teachers. Enjoy the weekend — and now I’m off to explore your blog for a post about your railroad. Have you ever thought of mounting a camera to the engine for an engineer’s eye view of your garden?

    • That’s an idea! I would also like to see Zena’s reaction to the train. Tigger’s predecessors (Jazz and Cayenne) were fascinated by the train around the base of the Christmas tree . . . and occasionally caused it to de-rail. :oops:

    • You know, Kevin, I’ve never really posted about the railroad! I keep threatening, and each time I get a little stumped because we have photos from the very beginning. I kind of want to show how we created it. I will do that soon. It’s funny to me how sometimes I get a mental block about something that should be quite easy to share. I will have to research how we could attach a camera to the locomotive. That could be really interesting! I haven’t seen the “Who adopted who?” and I’m going to look for it. That certainly fits!

    • That’s right, Cathy. If you give a dog some love they are just as happy as can be. I find Zena such good company, and I didn’t have any idea that we needed any more activity! She fulfills something in us, and I won’t ask what! I’ll just enjoy! I’m glad to share her a bit.

  9. Dear Debra, I so enjoyed the video and I saw your shadow in one frame and in another the geese encircled by leaves in a patch of sky. So wonderful to hear your voice and to hear Zena panting and lapping the water. You know I sometimes find myself railing against modern technology, but when I see what can be conveyed with a video camera I just fall in love with the opportunities that life presents us today. Thank you for this delightful romp with Zena. Peace.

    • It’s so funny, Dee, but I had no intention of sharing the video when I was first taking it. I was going to share it with our son. He is the one to first rescue her from another family unable to care for her, but he and his girlfriend have another dog and he thought we’d be the best home. So I wanted to show him how she was faring. When I played the video back my phone suggested I might want to make a YouTube, and with no more than the press of a button i had the video for posting. I just had to make it happen. I agree with you about how technology can almost strangle us at times, but when it works well or creates some fun then I’m so eager to join in! I may do that more often now, just because I can. LOL! :-) I hope you have a good week. I’ve been a little busy this weekend, but now we move on! ox

  10. Zena is gorgeous. So cute. I loved watching her play ball and it’s great that you make time to play with her. I love the chewed plastic bucket! Yes, dogs are very good at ‘talking’ to us. Mine are excellent communicators too xx

    • i think Zena is just so fun. We have always had small dogs in the past and I am enjoying getting to know her ways. She likes to play ball with me, but she is really attached to my husband. He took a week off work when she first arrived and she completely bonded with him. She comes to me to play and eat…and gives him the adoration. LOL! And those big brown eyes do talk. :-)

    • I’m so glad I could share a little more personally, Claire. I was first taking the video to send to my son. He is responsible for Zena coming to our home. But when I realized I could make a YouTube clip right from my phone I really got into it. So you got my early morning screechy voice…which is probably pretty accurate. LOL! Zena is a love. And she is so good for us! Hope you’re doing well, my friend. ox

  11. How much fun is that! Playing ball in your back garden, with your railroad and waterfall … I think I could hear a waterfall! Zena is gorgeous, so gentle, and lucky in finding you Debra :)

  12. Playing catch up after writing nearly all night… why is it dogs don’t want to give the ball back to you? Mine love to tease even waiting till my hand is right there and then move away… definitely they enjoy seeing me chase them around to get the ball back…

    • These dogs enjoy playing and they set the rules, Rob! :-) I think it’s so interesting that I feel better after playing with Zena, too. Both of us benefit! I hope you’re getting some reset along with all that writing! I don’t think I could stay up all night for anything anymore…there was a time, but not these days. :-)

  13. What a beautiful creature Zena is, Debra! Dogs have a wonderful way of bringing balance to our life: we ahve to walk them, for a start, and they need to play. I don’t know what I’d do without Mac. And Zena has such a gentle disposition. I loved the film.

    • You have that right, Kate. Zena has added a measure of balance to our activity levels and already we have noticed some nice changes. Sometimes we’re out and the discussion is whether to keep going or come home, and we decide on home so that Zena isn’t alone! LOL! I didn’t see that coming when we agreed to welcoming her in. She’s a lovely addition to our family, and I was having fun playing with her on Friday morning. This was the first time I discovered that I can send video directly to YouTube from my iPhone. Once I realized that, I couldn’t resist! :-)

  14. How precious is that, Zena looks very gentle and playful. What would we do without our pets. My dogs normally play outside, but when I am sick , my dogs know and they don’t leave my side.

  15. A great post, Debra, and I’m glad that Zena is blending into her forever home so nicely. Lucky for her — and you — that your yard is so large. She can get some exercise on a daily basis. Your video is priceless. Any dog owner can identify with the “Drop it” pleas. In fact, if you lowered you voice an octave or two and substituted “Max” for “Zena”, you’d have a soundtrack from our last trip to the beach. :) I hope you’re enjoying your weekend.

    • I was really unsure about having another dog, John, but we are really enjoying Zena. She is good for us. We were out last night and unsure about whether to keep going or call it an early evening, and we found ourselves coming home to keep her company! LOL! In truth, we were tired and yet somehow neither one of us wanted to admit it. But come home for Zena? Sure…that worked! And we are so glad she has our yard, John. She is five years old and apparently spent most of her life on a condominium patio. And the family wasn’t walking her or exercising her. I try not to think about that! But we certainly pamper her now, and she is happy. And that makes us happy. :-)

  16. I love that last photo of Zena sleeping with her nose between her paws! I feel just like that right about now, lol. What a lovely sanctuary your backyard is, Deb, what a great place to relax and play with your dog. I so miss Lucky and my hubs is adamant he’s not ready for a new one. Dogs do have a way of making us slow down and live for the moment. And I love Zena’s energy.. she’s just ready to go go go!! Lucky you! Have a lovely weekend, Deb! xx

    • I enjoyed sharing my morning playtime with Zena, Barb. She has us wrapped around her little, hmmmm, I guess I can’t say finger, so I’ll say she has us in her paws. :-) I was a lot like your husband, and not ready to take on the responsibilities of a dog. It had been many years, and I just didn’t think we could be good doggy parents. Now, I still think we are too busy, but she is making us think and we do find ourselves saying, “Should we get home to Zena? She’ll be so glad to see us.” I think sometimes these little creatures come into our lives when we need them, whether we anticipate that need or not! :-) Thanks so much for stopping by. And I’m glad to share my backyard with you…I need to do a post soon on our backyard railroad. That’s kind of fun. ox

  17. Ahhhh…. a wonderful post in many, many ways!

    First – clear evidence you have healed from your fall!

    Secondly, a voice behind all these wonderful posts about your daily journeys! Excludin long-time friends and family, you are the only voice I’ve heard besides Chatter Master’s.

    Lastly, a ball makes a dog feel like a million bucks… as does the owner when repaid with a wag.

    Superb video, Debra! We feel your love and happiness towards Xena!

  18. What a lovely gentle soul she is, and definitely a tonic for you.
    Does she like the trains? I guess you only run them now and then. I’ve never seen your enormous garden before so I was keeping watch for one to come down the track :)

  19. Oh, she is such a sweetie, Debra! I thoroughly enjoyed the video, just as I have your last few posts, though I’m really sorry I’ve been reading them quickly with no time to reflect and comment. Hopefully now our weekend visit to my mother-in-law is over, life will slow down and give me more time for blogging.

  20. Zena looks like a great addition to the family. I have heard pets do wonders to make us more mindful and slow down a bit. :) It looks like you ended up having a great Friday morning. I hope you’re having a good week too. :)

  21. I read this post in my cellphone on Friday noon (no, I wasn’t walking and texting, lol) and couldn’t post a reply. The photos of your gentle companion are awesome! If I ever adopt a dog, I would like a gentle breed.

  22. Smart dog you have there, Debra. On our own once chased me and tripped me down. Pffft… ultimately, it became my brother’s dog as I never befriended it back since. Ahihihi :D I hold grudges at times.

  23. I just love reading your blog. Just through your delightful stories and photographs you seem to be such an interesting person. Who else could write such a delightful post about daily things and make it such a delightful read. Love the comparison between Zena and Xena. It so made me chuckle! ~Thea

    • What a nice compliment, Thea. I really appreciate that my little slices of life are interesting to you. Sometimes before I push “publish” I do wonder, believe me. I’ve learned to just share what interests me, and these days, as life gets more and more complex for each of us, I am finding enjoyment in the simplest of things. Just throwing a ball with Zena and watching her bounce around the yard was very relaxing, and it makes me realize how often I’m bouncing around myself and sometimes I just need to stay home and enjoy a little quiet. And yes, she is definitely not a Xena! Ha!

    • We have defintiely been enjoying Zena’s company, Tammy. She’s a playful and easily contented dog. We have been fortunate that she made herself at home so readily, and it amuses me to see her go to the pond and take a drink. The rocks and some of the bank really isn’t made for walking on, and at first I was concerned about a structural collapse or some level of damage, but she is very careful and dainty with where she walks. It’s turned out to be very convenient for her and for us! :-)

    • Thank you for the reminder to just play with Zena and let other things go from time to time. She is so happy when we play with her and give her attention, so it’s easy to comply. She is a very welcome companion. I’m delighted I could share her little playtime!

    • Zena is such a soulful little thing. She has quite a sweet personality. I suspect I’ll be sharing more about her. I tend to get very caught up in the cute antics, much like I’ve done with Darwin or my granddaughters. Ha! Pets and children. Great distractions from everyday stress! :-)

  24. Debra, I have no idea how I missed this post. I’ll blame it on Congress. I remember seeing it show up, then??? Just now thought I’d check and see if I missed something, and, sure ‘nuf, I did, with no less the wonderful time I’ve had now, watching Zena and enjoying your pictures. What a beautiful dog and companion. I think you know who the poet Mary Oliver is. A new book of her poetry was just released. I think it is called Dog Songs. You might enjoy it.

    • I’m glad you found your way over to see Zena in action, Penny! Believe me, I do understand how it’s possible to miss a post! I’ve had that happen too often lately, and I tink sometimes the world is just moving faster than I am! Now I’ll adopt your thought and blame Congress. LOL! I must look into Dog Songs! I’m most curious about that. And be sure not to worry at all when you find yourself behind in blog reading/commenting. Now you’re managing two blogs! I don’t know how you’re doing it, but I think the effort is going to be so satisfying! ox

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